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Cornwall South West Coast Path self guided walking
Find your perfect trip!
Find your perfect trip!
Cornwall's South West Coast Path
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from 8 days
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price in double room from: € 1.042
Cornwall's South West Coast Path

Cornwall's South West Coast Path

Walking from Padstow to St Ives

  • Classic Cornish coastal walking
  • Padstow’s old harbour and Rick Stein’s restaurant
  • Newquay - Britain’s surf capital, and St.Ives - the famous artist’s town
  • Coves & beaches: once the haunt of smugglers and wreckers, now the abode of seals and surfers
  • Crystal clear water and old tin mines
View map

Start: Padstow       Finish: St Ives

Day 1: Arrive at Padstow
Day 2: Padstow to Porthcothan (21km / 13 mi)
Day 3: Porthcothan to Newquay (17km / 11 mi)
Day 4: Newquay to Perranporth (18,5km /11,5 mi)
Day 5: Perranporth to Portreath (20km / 12,5 mi)
Day 6: Porthtreath to Hayle (20km / 12,4 mi)
Day 7: Hayle to St Ives (9km / 5,5 mi)
Day 8: End of the program

Day 1:    Arrive at Padstow

Make your own way to Padstow. The old harbour usually has a nice ensemble of boats including the old pilot vessels. Nice pub fayre and a Rick Stein restaurant.

Day 2:    Padstow to Porthcothan (21km / 13 mi)

Leaving Padstow’s busy little tourist harbour, follow the shores of the picturesque Camel Estuary to Stepper Point. You'll likely have views to Bodmin Moor inland and to the ‘Doom Bar’: an offshore sand bar. 

More coves pass by until you see the limestone and slate Porthmissen Bridge natural arch. From here continue on to Trevone Bay and Harlyn, two beautiful sandy beaches, popular with surfers. The path reaches Trevose Head where on clear days you can see both St.Ives and Newquay. You'll then turn south and cross more sandy beaches around Constantine, passing Trethias Island nature reserve, and threading your way through coves to descend to Porthcothan Bay.

Challenge: 21 km / 13 mi, 263 m ascent, 258 m descent

Day 3:    Porthcothan to Newquay (17km / 11 mi)

From the bay the path climbs up to Park Head. From here you'll have wonderful views of Bedruthan Steps, a set of rock stacks. Continue over Barrowfields, with its three Bronze Age barrows, then descend to Newquay. This is quite a shock after the day’s peaceful walk. Nevertheless, the town overlooks fine golden sands, which cushion the Atlantic rollers and make this Britain’s surfing capital. 

Challenge: 17 km / 11 mi, 288 m ascent, 268 m descent

Day 4:    Newquay to Perranporth (18,5km /11,5 mi)

Leaving the harbour, the path climbs up Towan Head past the whitewashed Huer’s Hut, where lookouts would shout the arrival of the pilchard shoals to waiting fishermen. You'll then follow the cliffs around Pentire Point to take the ferry across the Gannel River. The path winds around headlands and coves to Kelsey Head, and then descends to the village of Holywell. Following golden sands along Perran Beach and, depending upon tide levels, you reach the village of Perranporth either by the beach or the cliff.

Challenge: 18.5 km / 11.5 mi, 239 m ascent, 265 m descent

Day 5:    Perranporth to Portreath (20km / 12,5 mi)

A fairly easy stretch of walking today on well used paths occasionally dipping into valleys. The South West Coast Path follows the cliffs around Cligga Head, past mineshafts, now home to horseshoe bats, and the remains of tin mines. Enroute you drop into Trevellas Porth and then Trevaunance Cove, which has a waterside pub. It is then pleasant ascending to St Agnes Head past bird nesting cliffs, then  the path goes past the Wheal Charlotte Mine, drops down to the beach at Porthtowan and then follows the cliff top path to the harbour at Portreath.

Challenge: 20 km / 12.5 mi, 433 m ascent, 436 m descent

Day 6:    Porthtreath to Hayle (20km / 12,4 mi)

Leaving Portreath, there is a strenuous climb up Tregea Hill and 10 km of National Trust land. Continue high above the sea and reach a rather sensational breach in the cliffs called Hell’s Mouth. At Navax Point, you might be lucky enough to see grey seals. Further on, you will see the lighthouse perched on Godrevy Island, probably the inspiration for Virginia Wolf’s ‘To the Lighthouse’. The path then meanders through the Towans sand dunes to the busy port of Hayle.

Challenge: 20 km / 12,4 mi, 255 m ascent, 265 m descent

Day 7:    Hayle to St Ives (9km / 5,5 mi)

A short day which should give you enough time to discover beautiful St Ives, with its museums and galleries. Skirting the Hayle Estuary, which is noted for its seabirds and waders, the path passes along the dunes above Porth Kidney and then passes beautiful Carbis Bay to reach the town.

Like elsewhere on the surrounding coast, by the beginning of the 20th century, the fish stocks became depleted and the fishing fleet largely disappeared from St Ives. However, as early as 1811 Turner visited to paint the seascapes and by the late 1880s there were several artists installed and the town became famous. It is also a great place for fish 'n chips.

Challenge: 9 km / 5,5 mi, 168 m ascent, 166 m descent

Day 8:    End of the program

Arrangements end after breakfast.

 The Pickwick Inn (Padstow)
The Pickwick Inn (Padstow)

A connection to Charles Dickens, set in seven acres of beautiful Cornish countryside, overlooking the Camel Estuary, 9 luxury rooms with floor to ceiling glass doors opening out onto a private balcony: the award-winning Pickwick Inn is one of Cornwall's hidden gems. 


The Great Western Hotel (Newquay)
The Great Western Hotel (Newquay)

The Great Western Hotel is set right in the heart of Newquay, with a superb sea view, restaurant and bar, cliff top garden and terrace and only a few steps from the golden sandy beach and the sea. 


St George's Country House Hotel (Perranporth)
St George's Country House Hotel (Perranporth)

St George’s Country House Hotel is a 180-year-old former mine captain’s home with walled gardens and panoramic views.


Portreath Arms (Portreath)
Portreath Arms (Portreath)

The Portreath Arms is a family owned and run bar, restaurant and 7-bedroom hotel located in the centre of the village just a short walk away from Portreath’s harbour and beach.  The restaurant provides a varied selection at breakfast for hotel guests, afternoon cream teas (summer months only) and evening meals. 


White Hart Hotel (Hayle)
White Hart Hotel (Hayle)

In Foundry Square, in the middle of Hayle, you will find the elegant building of the White Hart Hotel, which boasts 26 en-suite bedrooms, an attractive bar and restaurant with some original wooden 'patterns' for making moulds for the old foundry, displayed on the walls.


Coombe Farmhouse (St Ives)
Coombe Farmhouse (St Ives)

Coombe Farmhouse sits in a secluded valley with sweeping views across the beautiful, unspoilt local farmland.



This program can be booked any day between Late March and mid-October, subject to availability. 

The nearest international aiports to fly to are Newquay, Bristol, Exeter

Getting to Padstow

You can get to Padstow from London (and connecting places in between including Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol) by train to Bodmin Parkway then connecting bus. Then its a short taxi to your guesthouse.
Overnight trains are also possible - see www. nationalrail.co.uk
You can also fly to Newquay Airport (though a limited range of flights) and then take a coach or taxi to Padstow.

Return from St Ives

You can get back from St Ives by train to London and other major cities (travel via St Erth). Coach or taxi to Newquay Airport is also possible.

GPS tracks are available on request.



  • 7 nights' accommodation (small hotels, lodges, pubs, and B&Bs)
  • 7 breakfasts
  • One piece of luggage per person transferred between your accommodation daily, not exceeding 20kg
  • Detailed route descriptions (digital and printed at 1st accommodation)
  • 24-hour telephone assistance
  • Routes in digital format (.gpx) for GPS or mobile devices

Not included

  • Dinner, lunch and drinks
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Admission fees
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip


  • Single room supplement(s)
  • Solo traveller supplement
  • Airport transfers
  • Extra nights


De route was prachtig! De accomodatie in Porthcothan Bay vonden we geweldig vanwege het contact met de eigenaresse en de avondmaaltijd die ze voor ons had gemaakt. De accomodatie in st Ives was prachtig!


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